Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Last Days of December

Well, that was Christmas...very enjoyable, very relaxing and lovely to spend time with family and friends.
Now it's back to preparing for the New Year and planning for 2012. I have some felt-making workshops to promote and run, some work to do on my online shops and blog, a new Facebook page to set up, lots of making to do and events to prepare for. I don't think I'll be bored in January!
I received some great craft books for Christmas - so no shortage of inspiration - and am now thinking about Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and the wedding season - I think it's time to put that beautiful vintage lace to good use. I'm also planning some colourful cushions to brighten up homes in the winter months and bring a touch of Spring and Summer to my Folksy shop. Don't forget to keep visiting to catch all the new goodies that I'll be adding to it over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

This time next week... will be Christmas Day. I'm not expecting any more sales from my Folksy and Etsy shops for Christmas, but will keep them open just in case anyone wants to browse over the holiday period and maybe treat themselves (or someone else) in the New Year. I'm going to focus on stocking them up a bit more over the next few weeks with some bright, cheerful things to help banish the winter blues. January and February are my least-favourite months, so working with bright colours will cheer me up as well.

The exhibition at Littlehampton Museum is still running - for one more week. I'm not sure it's such a great time to exhibit - just before Christmas everyone is really busy and there are not many visitors around - but it's been a useful experience and I can add it to my CV!

There's a lot coming up in 2012 - exhibitions, art trails, festivals - as well as my workshops and courses to promote, and I'm hoping to do a couple of larger craft fairs too. But now I'm winding down and putting the sewing machine away for a few days, so I hope you all have a very merry Christmas & look forward to catching up again in the New Year.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas is a-coming!

I finally got into the Christmas spirit and started writing my cards today. Tomorrow the tree will go up too, so it will really feel like my house anyway! I also spent hours listing things on Folksy (still struggling with the new site, but it gets there eventually) and even longer doing the ironing, but we'll gloss over that!
The weekend was good - I spent both days at the craft fair and sold some of my stock, mainly smaller items such as phone cases and a couple of larger items too - but it was quieter than we hoped, especially on Sunday. However, I sold a lovely silk scarf on Folksy and something from my Etsy shop too, so not a bad weekend.
The textile exhibition is still on at the museum (until 23rd December) - no sales as yet but there's still time.
My next project is a dress for me for's years since I did dress-making so this could be interesting. I also plan to make a belt to go with it...if it looks good, I'll put a photo on my next post. In the meantime, here's one of my latest hand-painted silk bags (available on Folksy).

'Sunflower' hand-painted silk bag on Folksy

Friday, 2 December 2011

Contemporary Art & Crafts Fair

Well, it's December now and only 4 more weeks (and a bit) until Christmas, so I'm hoping lots of people will turn up at the Contemporary Arts & Crafts Fair in Rustington over the weekend (see Events listing for details). I've just about done all the making I can for it and have a nice selection of textile goodies for sale, including... handbags, cushions and scarves in hand-painted silk; lots of small gift items such as phone cases, key fobs and padded hearts; some lovely hand-made felt cuffs (yes, I finally did some felting!); and some trendy knitted pieces. Today is all about preparation...labelling and pricing everything, getting all the props together and packing it all up ready for the fair tomorrow. Wish me luck and I'll report back after the weekend...

Hand-felted cuff

One of the new phone cases - SOLD

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Today is going to be a full day crafting and hopefully I'll finally get round to doing some felting. I've been busy making more things for the Arts & Crafts Fair next weekend at Rustington (see the Events listing for more information) and thinking about my table layout etc. My Folksy shop is looking better now I've changed some of the photos and added a few new things, and I sold another item over the weekend so I'm feeling a bit happier about it. Still getting plenty of views on the vintage Etsy shop, but no sales for a while, so I need to focus on that next week.
The Open Studios Weekend last weekend went well and they had a good number of people dropping by. The artwork was amazing - high-quality, professional and diverse - and included paintings in oils and acrylics, sketches, etchings, photos, textiles plus a couple of pieces by 'guest' artists David Freud and Darren West. Hopefully the event will get the publicity it deserves.

And's a photo of my one of my latest creations...a cheerful draught excluder - perfect for this windy, autumn weather!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thursday Update

I've managed to get quite a lot done this week, including finishing off some small craft items for the Art & Craft Fair on 3rd/4th December; re-framing and dropping off some photos for the Open Studios Weekend this coming Saturday/Sunday; starting work on a new draught excluder cushion; designing a new piece of textile art (to be made up later); felting some knitted pieces; listing some knitted scarves and snoods on Folksy; and I got most of my Christmas shopping done today! To top it all off, I got back this afternoon to find another sale on Folksy to my lovely, loyal customer Geraldine, who has really taken a shine to my little silk bags. I now have only one left, and that's currently in my 'Exploring Textiles' exhibition at Littlehampton Museum, so it looks like I'll be making a few more over the coming weeks.
Hand-painted silk bag - SOLD today

Monday, 21 November 2011

Manic Monday

Well, the new Folksy website is up and running (unless you use Internet Explorer as a browser - try Google Chrome or Firefox if you're having problems) and I'm still not sure whether it's an improvement or not, but we'll have to see how it goes.
I've listed my new Crimson Silk Bag on there (see photo below) and the little Felt Phone Socks I made and am now working on some more small items for the Arts & Crafts Fair in Rustington on 3rd/4th December. I also need to list some of the knitted scarves and other woolly bits that I made last year - they make great gifts for Christmas.
I've been neglecting my other 'shops' recently - the photos on Folksy and the vintage textiles on Etsy - so I need to update those a bit and add some fresh stock. The Etsy shop gets a good number of views and 'favourites' but purchases have dropped off a bit, so a few new items might help. As for the photos, I must find some new outlets for my cards and load a few more images onto the Photographers Direct website. I haven't been out with the camera recently, so that's something else to do this week!
Definitely a manic Monday for me....
Crimson Silk Handbag on Folksy

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Busy Week

Lots to do this week...I'm busy making things for the Folksy shop and Rustington craft fair, including some little phone pouches from felted knitted wool. It's always a gamble whether or not they'll turn out the right size after felting, so maybe they'll be something else instead! I'm also in the middle of making another bag - this one's a vibrant pink-red colour, made from some wonderful Indian fabric I was given. I just have to add something to it to make it a bit special...and I'm not sure what, so it sits there...waiting.

Later in the week I plan to get my wool tops out and do some felt-making. It's been a while since I last made some and I need to get into it again. I'm thinking of running some felt-making workshops from home over the next few months, so need to check out my stock and equipment anyway, and it's a good way of keeping warm...all that rolling and bashing!

On Friday I'm off to the MADE 11 Fair in Brighton, which is always a great event and very inspirational. I usually come home bursting with ideas and loaded down with postcards.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Textile Art Exhibition Opens Today

The exhibition is on until 23rd December at Littlehampton Museum. Entry is free. Open Mon-Sat.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Blue Velvet Cushion

I've just added a new cushion to my Folksy shop. I made it from a small piece of amazing velvet fabric I had and backed it with silk. I can't remember where the fabric came from, it was just a remnant, but I think it looks fab as a cushion. The decoration doesn't really show up in the photo, but it's mainly gold and it catches the light beautifully.
It may not be the most creative thing I've done (I basically just stitched a few pieces of fabric together!) but it is rather gorgeous!
I'm now starting on another bag, so watch this space..........

Monday, 7 November 2011

Happy Monday

I've had a busy day today...but a good one. I spent the morning gathering together, and putting the finishing touches to, the last few pieces for my exhibition. I have to deliver it all to the museum tomorrow so they can start setting up. I can't wait to see it all in place but I'm still a bit nervous about it. While searching through my vintage linens I came across some old crocheted items that I was given last year. They look very old but I have no idea what they are, so I sent an e-mail and photos to the V&A to get their opinion on them. I hope they would be good to know how old they are and what they were intended to be used for!

Mystery antique crochet - any idea what these are?
In the afternoon I actually got around to doing some sewing, but not very much. This evening was the monthly Art-in-Action meeting, where I get the chance to meet up with other local artists and makers - always interesting and usually fun too! And, just to round off the day, I got home to discover I'd sold a bag on Folksy - brilliant!!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Remember, remember....

Bonfire Night already, I can't believe how fast the weeks are passing. Here in Littlehampton we had our annual Bonfire Night torch-lit procession and firework display last weekend, which was a bit early but amazing nonetheless. The huge bonfire was still burning the next morning! I named one of my untitled felt artworks Bonfire Night - it seemed to capture some of the atmosphere of the celebrations.

It's only 7 weeks until Christmas now and I haven't really added much to my stock yet. I was busy yesterday making silk stockings (Christmas stockings made from my hand-painted silk) and some sweet hanging hearts, which I'll list on my Folksy shop later. I'm taking part in a local art & crafts fair at the beginning of December (Rustington WRVS, Dec 3rd/4th), so I'll have to get a wiggle on and make lots more goodies to sell there!

My textile exhibition preview is only a week away and I'm getting a bit nervous about it now...I know we all have to show our work at some point, but it's not easy.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Textile art exhibition at Littlehampton Museum

My very first textile art exhibition is opening soon at Littlehampton Museum. It runs from 12th November until 23rd December and includes a collection of my original textile art pieces, some of my favourite handmade accessories, some wonderful textile pieces collected on my travels, and some lovely examples of handmade textiles from the past. Most of my own work is for sale and there are some gorgeous cards available too.

The preview is on Saturday 12th November at 11am - if you're local, please drop in and say hello.

Links to my online shops

For original handmade accessories visit Ciesse Textiles at Folksy

For vintage textiles, accessories and more visit CSTextiles at Etsy

For photographic prints and cards visit CPS Photos at Folksy

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Welcome to the The Bright House

Hi and welcome to The Bright House, which I hope you'll want to visit often and spend time in! My intention is to make it a great place to share my work, my photos, my problems and successes; to get some useful feedback, tips and advice from you; to bounce ideas around and make new friends; and generally enjoy the whole experience of blogging.